Although Russia has stood up space oriented branches of their armed forces on no fewer than three separate occasions, some Russian officials don’t seem aware of their nation’s defensive orbital efforts.
Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, responded to President Trump’s recent call for the establishment of a Space Force branch of the U.S. military with a series of suppositions about just what such a branch might do if and when it’s been established. The scope of these allegations, ranging from plans to put nuclear weapons in space to establishing military bases on the moon, not only depicts a lack of understanding in the realm of orbital defense, but seems to indicate that the head of the Defense Council doesn’t seem to know what one Russia’s own military branches has been up to since its establishment in 2015. You’d suspect he’d be aware, since he oversaw the Nation’s Air Force prior to his role as a Senator.
“Militarization of space is a way to disaster,” Bondarev told RT, a media outlet that is registered in the United States as a formal agent of the Russian government. He went on to postulate that such a force would, if established, probably violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that bars the use or even testing of weapons of mass destruction in space. It’s worth noting, of course, that no one on either side of the American Space Force debate has thus far proposed putting nukes in orbit. Bondarev said,
There is a major risk that the Americans would commit grave violations in this field … if one takes into account what they do in other spheres. Of course, let’s hope that the American political elite still has the remnants of reason and common sense, but if the US withdraws from the 1967 treaty banning nuclear weapons in outer space, then, of course, not only ours, but also other states will be followed by a tough response aimed at ensuring world security.”